German Chancellor Olaf Scholz takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia, on February 15, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Moscow: A doctor from the German embassy in Moscow conducted a COVID-19 test on Olaf Scholz on his arrival in Russia, a German government source said, ahead of a meeting between the German chancellor and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Scholz headed to Moscow on Tuesday on a high-stakes mission to avert war, with Russia’s largest trading partner in Europe warning of far-reaching sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine.

The PCR test was carried out on board the plane, which has landed in Moscow, the source said, adding that the chancellery had offered Russia the opportunity to send someone to observe the procedure.

French President Emmanuel Macron last week refused a Kremlin request that he take a Russian COVID-19 test when he arrived to see Putin, to prevent the chance of Russia getting hold of Macron’s DNA, two sources in Macron’s entourage told Reuters.

As a result, the visiting French head of state was kept at a distance from the Russian leader during lengthy talks on the Ukraine crisis.